I read a blog post by author Jen Hatmaker the other day called, 'On Empty'. This quote jumped right off the page at me:
God isn’t going to magically restore healthy rhythms and boundaries in my life without my cooperation. He never asked me to spread too thin or nurture unhealthy habits or try to live up to some reputation. He didn’t say, “Do more. Do everything.” Those are on me. I did that. That’s my pride and selfishness and ego and ambition rising up, trampling down the beloved things, the necessary things.
I finished the post and had to smile at what Leslee, my bible study leader, describes as that moment when you feel like 'God is reading your mail'...
I am a doer. I go hard all day, every day. I challenge myself to do more, know more, to learn more, to write more, to love more...always more. But what I needed reminding of is that it's ME who puts this pressure on, not the Lord. God doesn't expect perfection. He doesn't expect that I can achieve 10 times what everyone else does, while going on less sleep and being a better friend. I put those unrealistic expectations on myself.
Hard work is important. Working with excellence is important. Making time for what matters should be a priority. Somewhere among seeking to do all of these well, I lost sight of the Lord's desire for me to do everything as unto HIM and started making it about me.
During a small group discussion a few weeks back (our group is studying Romans currently) we were discussing things that we sometimes miss as being sin, or make sinful. It was out of my mouth before I realized what I was about to confess...I work hard, which is a great biblical trait...but for who? The sin isn't my hard work, the sin is where my motivation lies. I like the praise, I like the glory, and often times I lose sight of who my work is to honor.
I have taken good, godly things and made them 'me things'. This is where the error lies. After reading Jen's blog post and considering how 'on empty' I've been feeling lately I'm actually pleased to realize yet again, that the problem is me. Time to take a time out from my over achieving ways and refocus.
I share this in hope that if you've been running on empty lately, maybe you're getting in your own way as well. Maybe it's time to step back and realize that the Lord didn't call us to wear ourselves out completing tasks. Be diligent with your time but make time to just be still and know that He is God. Now, I supposed I best get off here and practice my preaching.